Prequalification for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel is a milestone for the project

I apologise for the blog being a bit quiet for a long time. It has been a very busy period for us where we have worked on three parallel processes: Preparation of the tender document and technical support to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Denmark and in Germany.

Lately, the biggest event has been the prequalification for civil works for the Fehmarnbelt tunnel. At a press conference at Femern A/S’ head office in Copenhagen last week it was announced that in early 2013 Femern A/S will prequalify a number of major contracting companies that will compete to win contracts for the world’s longest immersed tunnel.

The objective of the prequalification process is to select the strongest contract consortia with the right mix of competences. The consortia, which may comprise German, Danish and other international companies, must provide documentation in their prequalification request that they can handle the job, both technically and financially.

Map of traffic routes

Large scale contracts

The prequalification is the eye of a needle for the contractors – if you are not prequalified you can not make an offer.

Next year, four contracts are going out for tender and subsequently contracts for tunnel installations and railway installations will follow. Often a civil works project only consists of one or two contracts. But because the Fehmarnbelt tunnel is such a large project, Femern A/S has decided to split it into four large contracts. Femern A/S expects to prequalify four or five applicants to submit bids for each of them.

These are the four contracts:

  • Dredging of the seabed and land reclamation
  • Construction of the northern section of the tunnel
  • Construction of the southern section of the tunnel
  • Construction of portal structures, ramps and associated facilities

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A step forward

For us the prequalification means a step forward in the project – and that we must be ready with the tender documents before summer next year.

Since my last blog post, Femern A/S has prepared a revised time schedule for the Fehmarnbelt project that accommodates the challenges associated with obtaining approval for a large and complicated infrastructure project like this in both Denmark and Germany. As a consequence the project has been delayed for one year.

In my next blog post I will elaborate on the four main contracts and tell about the competitive dialogue described in the prequalification documents.